The PwC graduate application and recruitment process explained

Over half of PwC’s graduate roles are secured by January.

This outlines the application process (which you can begin via our 'Apply online' button) at PwC for graduate jobs and internships.

Apply to PwC early

PwC aims to complete the recruitment process, from your initial online form to completion of your assessment centre, within six weeks. While this timeframe can vary depending upon the availability of staff and how busy the recruitment team is at different parts of the year, it is clear that PwC starts recruiting early, often beginning before university terms begin.

There is some benefit in applying for a graduate scheme with PwC sooner rather than later. Despite increasing its number of vacancies over recent years, competition remains fierce, particularly for positions at PwC’s London office. Over half of PwC’s graduate roles are often secured by January.

PwC’s graduate online application process

There are typically three stages to making an online application:

  1. Complete the registration form. This will ask whether are on course for a 2.1, and whether you understand that all your responses must be accurate and honest. As of June 2015, PwC has scrapped UCAS points as entry criteria for its graduate jobs.
  2. Complete the application form. This covers academic achievement, personal information, career motivation, employment history and references, extenuating circumstances, language skills, and extra-curricular activities and interests. Recruiters will refer to this in interview.
  3. Take the online tests – numerical, verbal and/or logical reasoning depending on which part of the business you’re applying to. Some of these may be diagrammatic in nature. All the online tests are delivered by SHL.

PwC’s online tests

There are up to three parts to the online test at PwC:

  1. Verbal reasoning and logical (diagrammatic) reasoning – these SHL tests assess communication skills and logic.
  2. Numerical reasoning – also by SHL, this covers basic skills such as percentages, ratios, fractions and foreign currency conversions.
  3. The PwC Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) – an untimed questionnaire designed to evaluate candidates' workplace behaviour.

If you are unsuccessful with these tests on the first attempt, there is the opportunity to progress in the application process by successfully completing them in a second sitting. They also need to be taken again on paper at the assessment centre. After completing the tests online, candidates will receive a feedback report.

There are practice questions before each section. You’ll need a calculator, paper and a pencil.

PwC’s graduate interviews and assessment centres

In brief, graduates may have a telephone interview after they have completed all the required testing. More likely, however, is that you’ll go straight to your first round face to face interview. This is held with a potential line manager. This is then followed by an assessment centre, and then finally your second round interview with a partner at PwC.

PwC’s application processes for different schemes and internships

The application processes at PwC differ slightly according to the schemes to which you're applying. The various differences are:

Female leader shadowing: The application process is completed with the assessment centre. There is no final interview with a partner (save possibly at the end of your shadowing scheme if you are considered good enough join a longer scheme, such as an internship).

Consulting – strategy: Consists of submitting a CV and application form, then taking psychometric tests. This is followed by a half-day assessment centre, including more psychometric testing, a written test and a case-study interview. If you pass that, then you are invited back for a full-day assessment centre, including a group exercise, a presentation, a case-study interview and a final interview with a senior manager, partner or director at PwC.

PwC Legal LLP: This is exactly the same process as the majority of graduate schemes, except first stage interviews will definitely be conducted over the phone and your final interview will be with two interviewers as a panel, rather than one. There are also additional application questions to complete online.

Graduate view

‘For me, psychometric tests were the hardest as you may need to analyse data that's been presented to you in unfamiliar forms. However, the maths skills you need aren’t necessarily too complicated. Some of it’s just calculator skills – so if you want to find a 10% increase you divide by 100 and then times by 110 or multiply by 1.1.’

Vimal, assurance associate at PwC

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